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Archive → December 1st, 2015

Democrats run as Republicans in Chicago to eliminate competition



CHICAGO – According to Chris Cleveland, Chairman of the Chicago GOP, the Chicago Democrats are attempting to take control of the Chicago Republican Party. In a press release, Cleveland wrote:

Democrats across the city are running for the position of Republican ward committeeman in Chicago in an apparent bid to extend their influence within the party.

In the 23rd ward, which is within Mike Madigan’s state representative district, Robert Handzik has filed as a Republican. Handzik was among those who circulated petitions for Madigan’s fake Republican opponent two years ago. He does not attend county Republican meetings and does not respond to calls or inquiries from the Republican Party.

In the other ward within Madigan’s district, the 13th, an unknown candidate named “Gabriel Trejo” has filed. According to Board of Elections records, Mr. or Ms. Trejo has voted in the Democratic primary in the last four elections and has never voted in a Republican primary.

Of the 25 candidates who have filed as of 12:35 pm, 15 have Democratic voting histories. Nine have voted exclusively in Democratic primaries.

Even among those with recent Republican voting histories, a prior history of Democratic voting is evident.

The reason for this burst of activity is twofold.

First, as one of Pat Quinn’s last acts before leaving office, he and Mike Madigan passed a series of changes to Illinois election law. Among those changes is a new requirement that Republican ward committeeman sign off on election judges in their ward. Prior to the change, election judges could be placed by the Republican County Chairman.

Bruce Rauner used the older law to good effect in the 2014 cycle by funding an effort to put genuine Republican election judges in precincts across the city. The purpose was to control vote fraud in precincts that had previously been controlled exclusively by Democrats. With the new law, Rauner would now need to get the approval of each Republican ward committeeman to place judges in that ward — an impossible task, if the Democrats control the Republican ward committeman seat.

The second reason is that in 2014, the Chicago Republican Party ran candidates for office across the city, forcing Democrats to campaign in districts in which they had never had a challenge. The newly-active Republican Party caused Democrats to spend time and money in the city. Democrat-controlled Republican committeemen can impede that effort and even prevent it in some districts.

The Democrat-controlled Chicago Board of Elections recently made the process for Republican candidates in the city more difficult by quadrupling the signature requirements for Republican ward committeeman. While a Republican candidate in the 43rd ward, for example, only needed 99 signatures in the last cycle, the new requirement is 404 signatures. The rule of thumb is that a candidate should double or triple the minimum number, meaning that a simple ward committeeman slot can require 1,000 signatures. It’s much easier for a well-funded Democrat organization to get this number of signatures than a Republican one in the city.

“We’re fed up with Mike Madigan’s interference in our party,” said Chicago Republican Party Chairman Chris Cleveland. “There is no reason for him to do this, except to use election law to prevent Chicago Republicans from running for office, and to allow vote fraud to flourish.”

Republicans are currently contemplating a legal challenge.

Today is the last day to file for office. More candidates are expected to file throughout the day.

Source: Will County News

Press Release: Tonia Khouri, Republican Candidate for Congress, 11th District

For Immediate Release​​                 Contact: Danielle Rowe

December 1, 2015                                     (847) 809-8838

Tonia Khouri, Republican Candidate for Congress, 11th District

Statement:  NRCC “On the Radar” Young Gun

“Our campaign is proud to be “On the Radar” as part of the NRCC’s Young Guns Program. It is important that our supporters and donors take credit for the fact that we are the only Illinois Congressional campaign in Illinois to achieve this milestone and be recognized for this program. We could not have met the benchmark criteria without the early support of thousands of people throughout the district,” said Khouri.

“The residents in the 11th District are concerned about jobs, education reform, safe communities, and national and economic security. I will take these local concerns with me to Washington and help our communities from the federal level.  People want real leadership in Washington. It’s time we change who’s in Washington and start getting things done,” Khouri said.

For Immediate Release                              Contact: Press Office

November 18, 2015

(202) 479-7070

32 Congressional Candidates Announced “On the Radar” as Part of NRCC’s Young Guns Program

“On the Radar” is the First Level of the NRCC’s Young Guns Program


WASHINGTON – The National Republican Congressional Committee announced the first round of “On theRadar” candidates, the first level of the committee’s Young Guns program, ahead of the 2016 elections. This program will help to provide candidates the tools they need to run successful, winning campaigns against their Democratic opponents.


“These 32 candidates all provide a stark contrast to their liberal opponents, whose support of bigger government, more spending and President Obama’s job-destroying agenda have steered our country down a dangerous path,” said NRCC Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR). “With working families still struggling in this weak economy and our national security under increasing threats, we must elect more Republicans to Congress who will work to strengthen our nation. I am confident that these candidates will continue to work hard for their communities and build strong campaigns as we head into the election year.”


The Young Guns program supports and mentors challenger and open-seat candidates in races across the country. Officially an NRCC effort for the past three election cycles, the program requires its candidates to work towards specific goals and meet benchmarks throughout the year to ensure their campaigns remain competitive, well-funded and communicative within their districts. “On the Radar” is the first of three levels in the Young Guns program. In the 2014 election cycle, the program helped to elect 45 new Republican Members to the 114th Congress.


Please see below for a list of the candidates.


·         AZ-01 Ken Bennett

·         AZ-01 Gary Kiehne

·         CA-03 Eugene Cleek

·         CA-24 Justin Fareed

·         CA-24 Katcho Achadjian

·         CA-52 Denise Gitsham

·         FL-02 Mary Thomas

·         FL-02 Neal  Dunn

·         FL-06 Sandy Adams

·         FL-06 Adam Barringer

·         FL-18 Rebecca Negron

·         FL-18 Rick Kozell

·         FL-18 Noelle Nikpour

·         FL-18 Brian Mast

·         FL-18 Carl Domino

·         IL-11 Tonia Khouri

·         IN-03 Kip Tom

·         IN-03 Pam Galloway

·         IN-03 Jim Banks

·         IN-09 Erin Houchin

·         IN-09 Greg Zoeller

·         MD-06 Amie Hoeber

·         MI-10 Phil Pavlov

·         MI-10 Paul Mitchell

·         MN-08  Stewart Mills

·         NE-02 Don Bacon

·         NV-03 Michael Roberson

·         NV-03 Danny Tarkanian

·         NV-03 Andy Matthews

·         NY-03 David Gurfein

·         NY-19 Andrew Heaney

·         NY-19 John Faso

Source: Will County News

$225 million in bonds to pay for three Will County major building projects


12/1/2015  Diily southtown  Susan Laferty

Will County Board committee is proposing that the county sell $225 million in bonds to pay for three major building projects, including a new county courthouse in downtown Joliet.

The courthouse project, which could start in 2018, and the addition of a satellite courthouse in northern Will County are estimated to cost about $175 million, according to the figures presented during the finance committee meeting Tuesday.

Building a new sheriff’s department headquarters at Illinois 52 and Laraway Road, expected to begin next year, is estimated to cost $20 million. The third project, a building to replace the aging health department offices on Ella Avenue in Joliet, could cost $30 million.

The finance committee approved the bond issue, payable over 30 years starting in 2017, which still must be approved by the full County Board.

Committee chairman Mike Fricilone, R-Homer Glen, laid out a plan identifying several revenue sources for the annual debt payment on the bonds, estimated to be between $12 million and $13 million.

About $9 million initially would come from $2.4 million in the county property tax levy that was raised last year for this purpose; $1.5 million from a new courthouse fee; $1 million in landfill fees; $2 million from the Public Building Commission; $500,000 from Joliet; $300,000 from a higher parking fee at the courthouse parking lot and about $1 million from two types of development bonds for which the county gets a federal subsidy.

The remaining $3 million to $4 million per year would come from the county’s share of Regional Transportation Authority funds, which can be used because the new courthouse and sheriff’s police station are considered public safety projects. This allocation would amount to 15 percent of the county’s annual RTA revenue, a figure that Fricilone said he hopes to decrease over time.

County officials noted that some of these revenue sources will dry up before the bonds are paid off in 2047. Joliet committed its $500,000 in each of the next 20 years, the federal subsidy on the bonds ends in 2030 and the landfill fees could run out in 2042.

But because all the revenue sources come from the county, amounts from other sources can be adjusted as needed, officials said.

“If we adopt this (finance plan) we agree to (adjust the county tax levy) to support this plan,” board member Denise Winfrey, D-Joliet, said. “In the next budget, we need to make sure these costs are covered. We are committed to dedicating this revenue.”

“This is the start of a plan. It will be tweaked. But the longer we wait, the more costly it will be,” Fricilone said.

“If we don’t put this forward, we will never get going,” Republican Caucus Chairman Chuck Maher, R-Naperville, said.

Underlying the financing plan is a philosophy to issue bonds for long-term building projects and use cash for short-term improvements, such as new vehicles and computer systems, Fricilone said.

Nick Palmer, chief of staff for County Executive Larry Walsh, told the finance committee that Walsh prefers a 20-year bond issue to save money on interest. Before the full board votes on the bond issue, the county’s bond counsel will provide interest figures for 20-year and 30-year bonds.

The County Board will meet Dec. 10 to review building plans for the new courthouse.

Source: Will County News

Homer Glen Gas tax

Letters to the editor: A $3 million gas tax hike – look out Homer Glen residents!

Yep! That’s our (Homer Glen residents) share, over the next 10 years, of the proposed three cents a gallon gas tax (See The Homer Horizon – Nov. 5 and Nov. 19, 2015, Pages 6 and 13).

Over the next 20 years, it’s $6 million or more and a whopping $9 million or more over the next 30 years. And that’s just 30 percent of the total tax revenues collected!

It appears our transparent administration conveniently forgot to disclose to us Homer Glen taxpayers the big numbers. Guess they thought we would say, “I can’t believe it, where’s all this money going?”

However, if we cut Village government salaries and expenses that this administration is responsible for, we could save the hardworking residents of Homer Glen the $3 million, $6 million and $9 million that will be coming out of our family budgets.

I guess our current administration wants to raise our taxes just like Cook County. In fact, Mr. Sawyers said they (current administration) have the right to add millions of dollars in taxes to our family budgets (See The Homer Horizon – Nov. 5, 2015, Page 6).

What about the rights of local taxpayers? And in the same article, he reminds us that we have lower gas prices than neighboring Cook County cities, so I guess we should be happy paying more for our gas. What?

He must have forgotten or just doesn’t know that most of us moved here for, guess what – LOWER TAXES.

And Mr. Yukich blames the previous board and has all kinds of other nebulous reasons why Homer Glen residents need to pay this new $3, $6 and $9 million tax (See The Homer Horizon – Nov. 19, 2015, Page 13), but wasn’t he on that board as well?

And he goes on to remind us that we do not have a municipal property tax (See The Homer Horizon – Nov. 5, 2015, Page 6).

Isn’t that why the Village government raised our sales tax a few years back, when I believe Mr. Yukich was also a board member?

So, please call the Village Hall ASAP and let them know NO NEW GAS TAX before they rush it through before most of us know what’s going on. Sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? Yep!

Don Tomala

Homer Glen resident

– See more at: http://www.homerhorizon.com/letters-editor/letters-editor-3-million-gas-tax-hike-%E2%80%93-look-out-homer-glen-residents#sthash.Uge7Lt52.dpuf

Source: Will County News

The EPA’s Budget Deniers

With “climate change’” as the #1 adversary of the United States, can there be any accountability? Or does the EPA get a free pass? (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Recently, our organization, American Transparency, released a comprehensive oversight report on EPA agency spending from FY2000-FY2014. As a result, the EPA faced tough questions from reporters regarding expenditures such as $6.4 million on military-style weaponry, $92 million on high-end furniture costs, $170 million on public relations, $715 million spent on the Criminal Enforcement Program, $1 billion on their Senior Employment Program, and $1.2 billion on 1,020 staff lawyers.

During this questioning, EPA spokespersons were exposed as budget deniers. Instead of answering questions regarding the highlighted fact patterns, the EPA employed a “truthiness” spin that uses language that sounds like fact, but deliberately confuses and obfuscates the issue.

Here’s an example from the EPA: “This report (OpenTheBooks Oversight Report – EPA) contains numerous inaccuracies, cherry picks information and falsely misrepresents the work of two administrations whose job is to protect public health, and ensure people are informed about the critical work of EPA. Many purchases were mis-characterized or blown out of proportion in the report.”

This official statement doesn’t contain a single element of truth. Here are four facts the EPA’s budget deniers ignored:

1. We quantified $110 billion in comprehensive EPA disclosed salary, bonus and checkbook expenditures as required by the federal transparency law the “Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006” co-sponsored by then-Senators Barack Obama and Dr. Tom Coburn.

2. We simply reorganized EPA’s own spending disclosures into an illuminating oversight report. Over the past two months, the EPA has not successfully disputed one single fact that we published in our report.

3. By design, our report covers two administrations – one Republican and one Democratic – and thus shows the bureaucratic intransigence of the EPA’s culture of denial.

4. The job of an agency employee is not to “ensure people are informed about the critical work of the EPA.” That’s public relations. Today, at the EPA it’s obvious that PR has replaced its core mission to protect public health and the environment.

Here are a few more examples of budget denial at the EPA:

1. They denied purchasing military-style weaponry and equipment when they purchased $6.4 million worth.

2. They denied misallocating resources on the purchase, rental, and moving of high-end furniture amounting to $92 million. They said they saved taxpayers money by moving into a smaller building and couldn’t fit the old furniture into the new space. For American families and businesses simply moving isn’t a license to redecorate.

3. They defied spending $170 million on public relations since 2000 – including up to $27 million in contracts to outside PR firms (EPA employs up to 200 PR officers and even uses outside firms to push proposed regulations).

EPA spokespersons even denied conducting raids, even though the Forty Mile River raid in the small town of Chicken, Alaska occurred in 2013. (Note: “EPA raids” were not a part of our report, as we only focused on the financial transactions.)

Now, the EPA is hiding or slow walking the disclosure of information taxpayers deserve to know.  For example, our Freedom of Information Act requests are taking up to five months to fulfill. The agency also signs their largest contractors to non-disclosure hush agreements. They’re taking secrecy and denial to a new level. Agency employees recently deleted text messages subject to the Public Records Act. Agency administrators also have used private email accounts for public business.

Inside the EPA checkbook, we also found more than $336 million in contracts with unknown or vague product descriptions, which points to a severe lack of internal accounting controls.

While the EPA is opposed to disclosure, they are committed to something called the “thin green line.”In June 2015 Michael R. Fischer, director of the legal division of the EPA Criminal Enforcement coined the term “thin green line” in a published defense of his agencies armed “special agents.” The reference recalled the graduates at West Point Military Academy, “the Long Gray Line,” or the “thin blue line” – police officers that “separate the good from the bad while creating order from chaos.”

Taxpayers should be concerned as the agency pushes forward to a new era of the “thin green line.” EPA “special agents” armed with millions of dollars in military-style equipment, weaponry, and backed by 1,020 in-house lawyers – with a budget larger than eight states – feel emboldened to “separate the good from the bad.”

Every citizen ought to be especially concerned about the EPA as they ramp up their rhetoric to match their newly expanded mission – defending America from our #1 adversary, climate change.

If you’re a “climate change denier” the EPA may come and get you, but if you’re a budget denier within the EPA you might just earn yourself a new recliner.

Source: Will County News